Allen Toussaint

A cornerstone of the rhythm and blues scene for over 50 years, Allen Toussaint is an acclaimed songwriter, arranger, producer, performer and an all-round musical legend of New Orleans. Growing up surrounded by his mother's many musician friends, Toussaint made his mark working for Minit Records as a session musician and producer, helping to kick-start the careers of Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and Chris Kenner in the early 1960s. His songs became classic standards of the genre with tracks such as Pain In My Heart, Working In The Coalmine and Southern Nights going on to be covered by Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, The Rolling Stones and Glen Campbell. His key solo records Toussaint (1971) and Southern Nights (1975) showed a progression from R&B into soul, funk and jazz and Toussaint soon started working with artists from outside the city, producing Labelle's huge hit Lady Marmalade, penning Robert Palmer's album and arranging The Band's classic albums Cahoots, Rock Of Ages and The Last Waltz. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, in recent years Toussaint has been dedicated to helping the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and collaborated with Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton.

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